Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Acronyms, Encyclopedia.
Related to ropes: Tropes

the ropes

The details or knowhow about a specific situation, task, job, or role. I know there's a lot to take in, but your partner has been here for over 10 years and will show you the ropes. This class is intense! You're expected to know the ropes from day one.
See also: rope


Fig. knowledge of how to do something; how to work something. (*Typically: know ~; learn ~; show someone ~; teach someone ~.) I'll be able to do my job very well when I know the ropes. John is very slow to learn the ropes.
See also: rope
References in classic literature ?
It was 3,122 feet long--over half a mile; every man and me was on foot, and had on his green veil and his blue goggles, and his white rag around his hat, and his coil of rope over one shoulder and under the other, and his ice-ax in his belt, and carried his alpenstock in his left hand, his umbrella
Then, a hooked iron rod, thrust through the bars, caught and drew the bight of his trailing rope into the hands of the men outside.
But now Lip-lip was his dog, and he proceeded to wreak his vengeance on him by putting him at the end of the longest rope.
He succeeded only in staggering Rivera, but, in the ensuing moment of defenseless helplessness, he smashed him with another blow through the ropes.
Tarzan followed close above his quarry, waiting for a clearer space in which to hurl his rope.
He was glad for one thing: the rope was off his neck.
After supper I show you a little schooner I make, with all her ropes.
Nearer and nearer she came to where Tarzan of the Apes crouched upon his limb, the coils of his long rope poised ready in his hand.
Coiling the rope that had carried me thus far upon my strange journey, I sought for the other end, but found that as I followed it forward it extended always before me.
You just try it," urged Martha, handing her the skipping- rope.
That was ill done, Hans, you should have put a rope round the goat's neck.
A quick movement of Tarzan's rope hand tightened the coil and when Numa slipped backward to the ground only his hind feet touched, for the ape-man held him swinging by the neck.
Only half the original rope was there, the balance having been carried off by the angry cat as he bounded away through the jungle with the noose still about his savage neck and the loose end dragging among the underbrush.
added Riderhood, creeping aft, and showing a stretched rope made fast there and towing overboard.
Mugridge's face turned white under its sooty veneer, and when Wolf Larsen called for a rope and a couple of men, the miserable Cockney fled wildly out of the galley and dodged and ducked about the deck with the grinning crew in pursuit.